“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road” (Lk 10:1-4)
The Lord appoints and sends forth seventy two of His disciples, to do the work of ministry. He pairs them ‘two by two’. He sends them with a clear vision. They are to go to specific places where He will arrive later. They are to prepare the way for Him. He tells them that His trained workers are few. He also tells them that as they walk on the way, they should not be idle minded, but always pray to God, the Lord of the Harvest, to multiply His servants. They shall preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, forgiveness of sins, victory, healing and deliverance in the name of Jesus! He warns them that there is an enemy and that the work is dangerous. They shall have no other protection or provision than their faith in God and the Holy Spirit with them. This will be enough to save and sustain them to the end. They should not greet anyone on the road, not to be distracted from the original vision.
From these simple instructions we can deduce that the devil attacks the servants of God in specific ways:
*You will be tempted to reject the companion the Lord has chosen for you! The flesh will tell you that you know better. I have seen many examples of believers who marry under fleshly impulse and destroy their ministries. Even the choice of a life partner must be done by the Lord Jesus and not by yourself. That is why you should not marry and unbeliever. There is nothing sweeter than for husband and wife to have the same vision and to walk along the way of life together, hand in hand and heart with heart, in the unity of the Spirit!
*The devil will tell you that the places the Lord sends you are not good. Lot chose Sodom and lost it all. Abraham chose the wilderness and became a blessing to all nations. My testimony: The truth is that I did not choose to marry a Nigerian or come and live in Nigeria. My husband of 42 years now was the first ‘black’ man I ever talked to. The Lord over-ruled my selfish desires and (Thank God!) I submitted to His will. I have no regrets at all. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and a wonderful ministry in Warri, Nigeria! Praise the Lord!
*The devil will distract you from prayer. You will forget that there is a harvest in the future. You just grumble that there are no good friends around and that the road of ministry is too lonely. Do not complain! Use your energy to pray! Do you know that you can ‘pray a husband into existence’? God will answer your prayer so that both of you will work together in the Lord’s vineyard. Pray in English! Pray in tongues! There is nothing impossible with God!
*Preach the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected! The devil will tempt you to talk nonsense or to gossip with strangers along the way. Do not go below to their level! Challenge them to come higher to your level! Tell them the story of Jesus or just keep quiet and pray!
*The devil will distract you with different things, even good things, so that you forget your vision and your purpose. Jesus says: ‘Do not greet people along the way’. It means not to be emotionally over-involved with people even as you do ministry. You help and do what you can and then move on. Do not settle in any man’s spiritual backyard! You must run the race to the end!
*The devil will try to put fear that serving God will make you poor! That you will die of hunger or violence. He is a liar! Nobody can kill you until you fulfill God’s purpose for your life! Jesus is the invisible friend walking with you! Be encouraged today!
I know these things, because as a pastor, I made mistakes. Remember that whatever the Lord says to you, His words are His express commands. Ignorance of His Word or rebellion against His commands will end in painful loss of opportunities to do ministry and to win the price! And now get up! You have rested enough! It is time to move on!!! In Jesus name, amen!
(In the picture, my husband and I, moving on…)